Euro U21 Championship in Czech Republic this summer
SAIDO Berahino has today been named in England’s provisional 27-man squad for this summer’s UEFA European Under-21 Championship in Czech Republic.
The Albion striker has been in red-hot form for club and country this season and on Monday became the first Baggies player to net 20 goals in a season since Kevin Phillips in 2007/08 with his brace in the victory over Barclays Premier League champions Chelsea.
Named England Under-21 Player of the Year for 2014, Berahino played a crucial role in firing the Young Lions to this summer’s tournament.
The frontman was England’s top scorer in qualifying with nine goals in ten appearances, including a late winner from the penalty spot in the first leg of their crucial – and ultimately successful - qualifying double-header against Croatia in October.
Berahino was duly handed a senior England call-up by Roy Hodgson in November, albeit without making his full international debut, but was ruled out of subsequent U21 friendly victories over Czech Republic and Germany in March due to a niggling ankle problem at the time.
Should he make the final 23-man squad, Albion’s Academy graduate will look forward to taking part in the Euro U21 Championship’s prestigious last eight, although there promises to be little time to rest following a long domestic season.
Gareth Southgate’s squad report to St George’s Park on Monday, June 2 to begin preparations, just over a week after Albion’s final match of the Premier League season against Arsenal at Emirates Stadium this Sunday.
The Young Lions face Belarus in a warm-up friendly at Barnsley’s Oakwell on Thursday, June 11 before travelling to Czech Republic for the tournament, which runs between June 17-30.
England come up against Portugal in their Group B opener on Thursday, June 18 before subsequent matches against Sweden on Sunday, June 21 and Italy on Wednesday, June 24.
The top two teams from Groups A and B progress to the semi-finals on June 27, with the final taking place in Prague on June 30.